2016.04.08 Last Week in Digital Media

The biggest news of the week was on Tuesday, when twitter announced it had secured the rights (rumored $10MM license cost) to Thursday Night NFL games and would be the official OTT provider (they explicitly mentioned connected TVs). What stands out in this deal is it will be free, worldwide, whether you are logged into twitter or not (detailed in the press release).

Making NFL games free regardless of login state is not in the best interests of stopping the decline in twitter user numbers. This, coupled with the fact twitter will only having access to 2-3minutes of local inventory video spots to sell in the games resulted in Morgan Stanley actually downgrading twitter 48 hours after the deal was announced.

Somewhat lost in the NFL deal news, twitter also announced it was making it easier to send direct messages, bringing twitter closer to the instant messaging space. The new envelope icon appears next to tweets once you upgrade your twitter app.

Not to be outdone by twitter, Facebook announced it was getting deep into the live streaming space this week, extending their livestream offering to a dedicated video tab within the Facebook app. This is really moving into the territory owned by twitter (periscope) and snapchat (there are also snapchat like filters). It’s also rumored that Facebook will pay publishers to livestream content. Expect details to be confirmed and a whole lot of Facebook news next week as the Facebook F8 developer conference kicks off.

The speculation on bidders for Yahoo! surfaced again, with Verizon and Google tipped to make a bid. It’s hard to imagine either of them getting the regulatory approval needed to acquire any parts of the business. Yahoo!’s decision to extend the offer deadline to April 18 implies there isn’t as much demand in the market for they would like.

In something that barely made the news but is noteworthy, Netflix is raising prices next month for all of us grandfathered into their old pricing. Prices will go by $1 up for about 17million people according to some analysts. That the social media universe didn’t collectively go into meltdown has surprised me. I was kind of hoping for an apologetic video from Netflix management, similar to what Japanese Ice cream maker Akagi Nyugo released after increasing their price by 9c at the start of this month.

Before I get wrap up, will leave you with a diversion this week (the ice cream price rise video wasn’t it). Nintendo launched their IOS app Miitomo in the US. It’s useful to know, because it’s a great example of a company stepping into an area that directly threatens their existing business (handheld consoles). There are reports there were 1.6MM downloads of the free game in the first 4 days. Proving that refusing to want to be somewhere because you feel it threatening doesn’t stop your loyal customers from being there – keep this example in mind next time a client pushes back on innovation.

Joshua